IBM IPS Focuses on Data, Web App Security

IBM releases an update to its intrusion prevention system appliance, pushing a vision for a unified platform for managing network security.

IBM pulled the covers off an upgraded appliance July 15 that combines intrusion prevention with data and Web application security.

IBM IPS 4.1 offers a unified platform for managing network security capabilities ranging from automated virtual patch technology to client-side application protection. Through integration with IBM Security AppScan, the appliance can automatically produce custom policies to protect Web applications based on specific vulnerabilities identified by AppScan. IBM has also added data leak prevention capabilities to allow customers to monitor whether any information is leaving the network.

In addition, a key part of the release being highlighted by IBM is the virtual patching technology added to the product. Emergency patching of vulnerabilities can mean unscheduled system downtime, and can leave enterprises susceptible to attacks until security fixes are completely rolled out. But vendor patches are not always forthcoming or easy to quickly deploy, as evidenced by findings in the 2009 IBM X-Force Trend and Risk Report, which revealed that 52 percent of vulnerabilities had no vendor-supplied patch by year's end.

IBM IPS 4.1 also includes IPv6 support and enhancements designed to improve performance, according to IBM.

"Effective threat and vulnerability management needs to focus on preventing problems, not responding to them," Steve Robinson, general manager of IBM Security Solutions, said in a statement. "Through our new intrusion prevention system, IBM is helping organizations save valuable time and money by giving them a single view of security to better thwart potential threats before their networks can be compromised."